Just received from Concerned Residents Coalition:
The municipal Council for the Town of Halton Hills passed a motion at its meeting on Monday evening, April 13, requesting that “the Ontario Government amend the Provincial Policy Statement and the Aggregate Resources Act to require aggregate extraction proponents to demonstrate need for the particular supply of resource proposed for extraction.” The Concerned Residents Coalition applauds this questioning of the Ontario Public Policy Statement which, since 2005, has eliminated the requirement for aggregate project proponents to demonstrate need for new aggregate sources leading to an increasing number of contested aggregate pit and quarry sites across southern Ontario. In these contentious cases, citizen and municipal priorities are trumped by provincial policy, a policy which is equally at odds with other provincial priorities. Doug Tripp, President of the CRC, responded to the Halton Hills motion, saying: “Your resolution to take the matter to the Province is right on the mark in our estimation. There is no question that the skewed policy framework that exists in Ontario has given rise to these quarry and pit battles that besiege so much of Southern Ontario—which the Province clearly needs to address.” In introducing the motion, Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette referred to some of the submissions to the current review of the Aggregate Resources Act, including the David Suzuki Foundation, the Canadian Environmental Law Society and Gravelwatch Ontario, all of whom called for the reinstatement of proof of need for aggregate. Mayor Bonnette concluded: “The proposed Motion…seeks to level the playing field and lead to having more comprehensive planning for individual extraction sites that is transparent, shows justification and need, and results in more sustainable use of aggregate resources.” The Mayor has been very vocal about this issue. In a recent speech to the Acton BIA, he said, “You can’t sit on your hands for this one.” The Concerned Residents Coalition (CRC), a large grassroots group based in Rockwood, Ontario, and representing residents in Guelph Eramosa Township, Halton Region, Milton and Halton Hills, has been assessing the potential impacts of the so-called “Hidden Quarry” proposed by James Dick Construction Limited on Highway 7 just east of Rockwood and west of Halton Hills. Among the impacts would be an additional 26 heavy gravel trucks an hour driving through Halton Hills over an indefinite number of years, adding to an already serious truck traffic issue in the heart of the Town.The proposed site is on the boundary of Guelph Eramosa Township (GET) and Milton, and also, therefore, on the boundary between Wellington County and Halton Region. All these stakeholders are assessing the application, but it is GET which must make the decision whether or not to re-zone prime agricultural and hazardous land to industrial/extractive. The site is in the middle of agricultural and environmentally sensitive land and just across the highway from the Green Belt at the headwaters of major rivers feeding the Grand River Watershed. For more information see www.hiddenquarry.ca .